Calls for more CEOs to ditch Trump after Charlottesville remarks

Color of Change petitionBy Allison Jacobs

After president Trump’s lack of a clear statement on the tragic attack on Charlottesville this past weekend, various nonprofit organizations are petitioning and putting pressure on CEOs to follow in the footsteps of CEO’s of big companies, such as Merck, Under Armour, and Intel, to drop out of Trump’s business-advisory council.

While some companies have openly stated that they will be staying, including General Electric Co., Dow Chemical Co., and General Motors Co., others have not made it clear what they plan to do.

(Related Article: CEOs Take on POTUS: What's the board's role.)

Petition organizers such as Care2 and Color of Change are urging corporate leaders to resign from the president’s council.

Already 5,000 people have signed a petition by Care2, a social media network and petition organizer, that calls on the CEOs from a host of companies, including Dell, Ford, Lockheed Martin, Boing and Campbells to step down. It states:

“President Trump did not overtly condemn the terrorist attack in Charlottesville. In fact, many of those who attended the white supremacist rally and contributed to the violence are his supporters. Yet it took 48 hours and a ton of public pressure for him to finally say anything about Nazis. Denouncing Nazis is literally the easiest decision. Every single Republican did it easily and quickly -- except our president.

“Thankfully, some of the country's most influential CEOs have stepped off various Trump business advisory councils in response to his dangerous attitude. But it's time that the rest follow.”

Likewise, a nonprofit racial justice group, Color of Change, is calling for PepsiCo’s chief executive officer, Indra Nooyi to step down as well.

Despite Nooyi tweeting a statement about how “hate and intolerance are a betrayal of what we stand for as Americans”, Color of Change’s Executive Director Rashad Robinson told Bloomberg News:

“They are a public-facing company that talks openly about diversity. Their role on this business council is that of an enabler, and they are an enabler to Donald Trump -- not just the policies but the practices that are putting folks in harm’s way.”

In the end, the pressure may be off corporate leaders.

Midday Wednesday, Trump tweeted:

"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!"